Meat And Plant-Based Alternatives Complementary, Not ‘Nutritionally Interchangeable’: Study

Are plant-based meat alternatives really interchangeable with real meat? A new analysis shows how different they can be.

Plant-based meat alternatives have become quite similar to real meat, even in terms of texture and “simulating bloodiness.” Further, manufacturers have also incorporated important nutrients so they can be comparable to real meat.

At a quick glance, real meat and the alternatives may seem “essentially equivalent.” However, there are some nutrients that are not listed on the labels, Duke University said in a news release.

For their study, published this week in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers took a deeper look at such products’ nutritional content using a tool called “metabolomics.” This allowed them to measure the metabolite profiles of 18 popular plant-based meat alternatives and 18 grass-fed ground beef samples from Idaho.